Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Life's Irritating Things

Some things just irritate the hell out of me.
At the top of the list are guys that start blogs and then fail to update them several times a week. OK, I plead guilty.
Those caps on jars that can't be opened without using a hammer and chisel - talk about irritating. Not just child-proof prescription bottles, although they can be maddening. The VA uses them even though a great many veterans are past the stage of life when pushing down while twisting is possible. No. it's the everyday jars you pick up at the grocery that are the worst - jars of pickles or cranberry juice or catsup. They must use jack hammers to apply the caps.
Worse yet are the mustard jars with pop-up caps. You can shake the jar until your arm is ready to fall off but still a trail of liquid comes out of the little hole before you get any mustard. Who wants a watered down hamburger?
And those cardboard containers of orange juice that have a tab that has to be pulled free before you get to the juice. You slip a little ring over your finger and pull and pull until it finally comes loose and juice and pulp go flying all over the countertop.
Worst of all are the plastic bags of potato chips, or anything else that comes in plastic bags. It shouldn't require a bazooka or a pair of sharp scissors to open one, but it does.
For many reasons, all politicians are irritating. In the fall when you'd like to enjoy the colorful leaves and bushes all you can see are signs urging you to vote for one shady character or another. They flood your mailbox to overflowing with more appeals for your support. As if all that wasn't enough, they take over television with mud-slinging filth. Ask yourself how often you see a political commercial in which a candidate tells you what he or she intends to do if elected. For every one of those you'll watch a dozen pointing out what a slime ball the opposing candidate is and always has been. No wonder so many people tune it all out and don't bother to vote.
But we voted today. Why? Because you can't trust those irritating electronic gadgets you find at the polling places. Can you have faith in them to count your vote or not switch it to the scumbag you voted against? Well, when the head man at the company that makes a good share of the machines said in 2004 that he intended to make sure that Bush won in Ohio, there's your answer. So we voted with absentee ballots. The election board is snowed under with them because so many people feel the way we do and don't trust electronic voting without a paper trail. Absentee ballots cannot be counted until election day so in our county they are going to start the tally at one minute past midnight.
That's more than merely irritating to the poor slobs who have to stay up all night counting votes. But no matter how many people cast absentee ballots and no matter how much the manufacturers tell us their machines are fool proof, I'd bet the results could be announced right now rather than on election day. It's almost sure to be rigged, and that's irritating as hell.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Bard of Akron Rears His Head Again

Reading "Flatwoods and Lighterknots," the excellent book by James Elders set in Georgia, made me think about my days down there and brought out my poetic side. Now this is a side some people say should be stomped on until dead, and who am I to disagree? After all, I know nothing about poetry, its rules and so forth. Needless to say, I'd never post a poem I'd written here on Blogger. After all, a man has his pride and some rather sensitive people read these blogs so I'd never. . .oh, what the heck, why not?


I wish I was in Gaw-guh,
Why did I ever stray,
From the copperheads and rattlesnakes,
and that old red dirt and clay?

I'd like to stroll out in the swamp,
Where the cottonmouths abound.
They can kill a man with just one bite,
and never make a sound.

Don't forget about the chiggers,
They sure can make you itch.
If you find yourself among 'em,
You'll agree that they're a bitch.

And remember those big roaches,
The kind six inches long.
I've seen 'em leap clear crost a room,
Now don't tell me I'm wrong.

You oughta feel that Gaw-guh sun,
Oh, man, how it beats down.
It makes a man yearn for a beer,
And turns his pale skin brown.

Boy, how I'd love a plateful
Of downhome country grits.
The northern folks won't eat 'em,
Cause they give a man the. . .bellyache.

But you know those Gaw-guh Bulldogs,
Can beat the 'Bama Crimson Tide.
And when Ol' Miss sees 'em comin'
They just run away and hide.

Those Gaw-guh gals are lovely,
You've never seen the like.
But when they call you Sweet Thing,
They mean go take a hike.

Yes, I wish I was in Gaw-guh,
Cause of all those things I've writ,
But on second thought I'll stay up north,
Where no one ever eats a grit.

My deepest apologies to all the good folks of Georgia. Especially Jim Elders, who keeps guns around the house._________________

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